Homeopathy 2004; 93(04): 216-220
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2004.06.004
Clinical
Copyright ©The Faculty of Homeopathy 2004

Homeopathic treatment of radiation-induced itching in breast cancer patients. A prospective observational study

O Schlappack

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received15 August 2003
revised05 May 2004

accepted21 June 2004

Publication Date:
20 December 2017 (online)

Abstract

Following surgery for carcinoma of the breast, patients receive local radiotherapy. This can cause itching, which may be severe, in the radiation field. The affected skin usually is dry, rough and red. Twenty-five patients were treated homeopathically for radiation-induced itching. Fourteen patients developed itching during their course of postoperative radiation at 27 days median (range: 14–40). Eleven patients experienced itching in the radiation field after completion of treatment (median 21 days) after the end of their radiation treatment. A single dose of an individually selected homeopathic medicine in 30C dilution was given in the clinic, on the basis of repertorisation. Patients were asked to record a visual analogue scale (VAS) before prescription of the homeopathic medicine and at follow-up.

Patients were evaluated at median 3 days (range: 1–27 days) after administration of the homeopathic medicine. In total, 14 of 25 patients (56%) responded to the first medicine. Nine patients had a second medicine, seven responded. Altogether 21 of 25 (84%) patients were successfully treated. The following medicines were employed successfully: Fl-ac 9/13, Rhus-t 3/5, Caust 2/3, Ign 2/2, Psor 2/2, γ-ray 2/2 and Kali-bi 1/1. The VAS measurements before and after homeopathic treatment showed a reduction of the median value of 64 mm (range: 20–100 mm) to 34 mm (median; range: 0–84 mm). Homeopathic treatment of radiation-induced itching appears quite successful. The most frequently indicated and most frequently effective medicine was Fluoric acid. An approach that allows greater understanding of the patient as a whole in the short time available in a busy clinic may be required.